David Freese hit his first homer with his new club and Rich Hill rebounded from a sluggish start on the mound as the Los Angeles Dodgers erased an early four-run deficit to defeat the New York Mets 11-4 on Tuesday night.
Austin Barnes also homered for the Dodgers, who remained a half-game behind first-place Colorado in the NL West. The teams meet this weekend for three games at Coors Field.
Barnes broke out of a season-long slump when he connected on a two-run shot in the third inning. His only other home run this season came on May 3.
"I know what I can do for the team and to finally put a good AB together and get us back in the game felt good for sure," said Barnes following the victory. "It's a long season and I've just been trying to focus on helping the team win."
Jay Bruce and Michael Conforto each hit a two-run homer off Hill. Bruce connected in the second inning for his fifth of the season, and Conforto gave the Mets a 4-0 advantage with his 21st of the year.
"I made two bad pitches and paid for it," said Hill of the homers surrendered to Bruce and Conforto. "Just have to make better pitches in those situations. That's what's frustrating about it."
Freese, who made his Dodgers debut Saturday after he was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 31, pulled Los Angeles within a run in the fourth when he went deep against Mets starter Jason Vargas for his 10th home run of the season.
"It was great to see Freese get his first home run here," said Hill of the home run that helped get Hill off the hook for the loss. "That was awesome to see."
The Dodgers added two more runs in the inning, one on Barnes' grounder to third base that was misplayed by Todd Frazier for an error, and another on a fielder's choice grounder from Brian Dozier that gave Los Angeles a 5-4 lead.
The Dodgers broke open the game with six runs in the seventh. Manny Machado, Freese and Enrique Hernandez all drove in runs, and Machado scored from second base on a wild pitch by reliever Corey Oswalt. Yasmani Grandal capped the outburst with a two-run double.
"Guys are passing the baton pretty well here and we know we can do that every night against anybody," said Hill of the six-run seventh inning. "That's something that is really exciting to see and I'm looking forward to more of it."
Vargas (5-9) gave up five runs — four earned — over 3 1/3 innings, after he had given up a combined four earned runs over his last four starts. He allowed six hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Hill (7-5) permitted four runs and seven hits in six innings with a walk and eight strikeouts. After Frazier doubled following Conforto's home run, Hill gave up just one more hit until he was removed to start the seventh.
"You just have to continue to keep grinding, keep battling and keep the team in the game," said Hill. "There was no quit. After the two bad pitches everything else was pretty good."
Since the All-Star break, Hill is 5-1 with a 2.87 ERA and 61 strikeouts.
The pitching staff overall has allowed five runs or less in 12 consecutive games.
Mets: C Devin Mesoraco was feeling residual soreness after straining his neck and back on a swing Monday, but tests showed he did not have a serious injury. . RHP Anthony Swarzak, who has been on the DL since early August with right shoulder inflammation, could be activated during the Mets' upcoming seven-game homestand, which begins Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies, according to manager Mickey Callaway.
Dodgers: RHP Kenley Jansen met with a team cardiologist and the Dodgers are still trying to determine if their closer will travel this weekend to Colorado, where he has twice experienced an irregular heartbeat.
RHP Zack Wheeler (9-7, 3.37 ERA) pitches for the Mets on Wednesday. He is coming off a tough-luck loss at San Francisco on Friday that snapped his seven-game win streak going back to July 14. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1, 2.24) will start for the Dodgers. He has a 2.38 ERA in four starts since coming off the disabled list after being sidelined by a left groin strain.